Saturday, 28 March 2009

double tragedy

16-year-old Jimmy Mizen was a young man with so much potential who lost his life simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. His parents, siblings and friends have coped with their loss with breathtaking dignity and my heart goes out to them.
Every time my own teenager goes out of the door to meet his friends on a Saturday afternoon my chest contracts with anxiety, and I have to fight my overwhelming urge to force him back into our home, where at least I know he is safe.
My fear - like that of so many parents - stems from the certain knowledge that no matter what you do to protect your children, you cannot prepare them for every eventuality. So while you may expect trouble at a bar on a Saturday night, you don't expect it at a bakery on a Saturday afternoon.
Jimmy's assailant, Jake Fahri, had aspirations to be a rapper, but he was also a loose cannon with violent intentions. Yet the photo of Fahri as a little boy in today's papers reminds us that here was a once innocent child who somehow became lost in broken Britain and grew up to become a killer. The tragedy is that because of his actions the lives of two families have been ruined, not least his own.

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